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Sunday, September 25, 2011

One rabbi's perspective on Obama

On Thursday, President Obama had a conference call with 900 rabbis. On Friday, one rabbi, Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein, gave this account (Hat Tip: Dan F).
Agudat Israel, the Orthodox rabbinic group, was included but they were at the bottom of the list so that none of their rabbis had a chance to ask a question. This is hardly a surprise since Orthodox rabbis are least likely to be in Obama’s corner. Two questions were selected, one on the economy and the other on the Middle East. There were no surprises. It was an electioneering effort by the President which was warmly received by the rabbinic left. I noticed one thing that seemed to reflect the President’s mind set: He twice emphasized that the road to peace in the Middle East, especially between Israel and Egypt and Turkey, was through successful peace negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, which, as we know, is nonsense. The Palestinians won’t make a genuine peace and the Israelis would be insane to give away an inch of territory after what they should have learned in Gaza, South Lebanon, and the Sinai. Moreover, Obama’s remarks seem to indicate that he believes the conflict is territorial rather than religious. A territorial conflict can be resolved through compromise and diplomacy, but not a genuine religious conflict. At least, Hamas speaks the truth on that issue.


I would guess that Obama’s next move, perhaps through Hilary, will be to tell the Israelis, “Look what we’ve done for you. We can’t go on helping you forever so you had better come up with a plan that Abbas can accept. This may have to wait until term 2, if he has one, and he will then say that the US has done all it can but the Israeli “hard right” has not cooperated. Therefore, we have no choice but to support Palestinian statehood, putting all the blame on Netanyahu, with the Jewish left serving as the amen corner.
What percentage of American Jewry will donate to Obama's reelection campaign? (That - rather than what percentage will vote for him - is really the relevant question). How much will they donate?

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